Why Do Cops Touch The Back Of Your Car?
<> on February 13, 2013 in Angelus Oaks, California.

Why do cops touch the back of your car? With an increased surge in violence against law enforcement agents, it is imperative for officers to gain positional superiority for better awareness of potential dangers. Touching the back of the car is a practicable measure usually taken by officers when they run into inevitable unsafe situations while carrying out their legal duties.  

However, the act of approaching vehicles towards the driver’s window side and touching the taillights has been a subject of interest. Why do cops touch the rear of cars during traffic stops? Read along for answers to this and more as we proceed in this article.

Why Do Cops Touch The Back Of Your Car?

Source: GOOD

In general terms, traffic stops are one of the most dangerous tasks faced by police officers while carrying out their daily duties. The act of touching the back of the car during traffic stops is a measure of security. As well as consciousness and alertness to potential dangers. One of the reasons behind this practice is to leave a fingerprint on the vehicle. As an established connection in case a critical incident ensued afterward. Additionally, cops touch the back of cars to check the trunk to eliminate the chances of a potential ambush. Essentially, this practice has proven effective in enhancing the safety awareness of cops and swift arrest of fleeing traffic offenders.

Are cops Lawfully Allowed To Touch The Back Of My Car?

There are no laws that prohibit law enforcement agents from touching your car. Besides, this act is a harmless approach for safety reasons and causes no damage to your car whatsoever. Touching the back of cars is a habitual approach by cops during traffic stops; for safety reasons and cannot be categorized as an intrusion on your rights. 

Do Police Officers Still Touch The Back Of Cars?

The practice of touching the back of cars has been in existence since the early ‘70s. During this period, police officers were trained to touch the tail end of cars while approaching the vehicle; to leave their fingerprints in case the driver violently attacks the cops and flees. However, the advent of technology has produced equipment like dash and GPS for instant coverage of crime scenes.  This innovation has made the act of touching the back of cars an outdated practice; but it remains a usual occurrence during traffic stops.

Are Cops Usually Violent During Traffic Stops?

Not necessarily. However, the task of engaging traffic offenders is a dangerous adventure as the majority of traffic violators are violent inclined. With the number of officers being killed while performing their lawful duties during traffic stops, it is pertinent for cops to adopt a fierce approach to instill fear into the offenders and ensure they are personally safe from potential attacks.

Are Cops Allowed To Stop All Cars?

Generally, law enforcement agencies are lawfully allowed to vehicles for routine checks. However, the power to exercise such is dependent on the legislation in various jurisdictions.

How Long Have Cops Been Touching The Back Of Cars?

Historically, this practice started several decades ago before the advent of technology. During this period, the law enforcement agencies lack the technological devices to provide first-hand footage of crime scenes, which makes leaving a fingerprint essentially important for investigation purposes.

Closing thoughts

The practice of touching the back of cars by cops during traffic stops is to ensure fingerprints are left on the vehicle as physical contact in case a violent incident occurs during the process. In addition, it practically enhances the safety of officers against any form of trunk attack from traffic offenders. Even with the invention of technological equipment such as body cam, touching the back of cars remain a habitual practice by cops particularly during traffic stops.

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